Sciatica is a condition which is manifested by sharp pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The pain typically begins in the lower back and then spreads to the back of the leg. It is accompanied with burning sensation, tingling, numbness, and weakness down the affected area. Needless to say this pain prevents the person from doing daily activities, such as standing and walking around.
The main causes of sciatica include degenerative disc disease, pregnancy, isthmic spondylolisthesis, piriformis syndrome, spinal stenosis, spinal injury, or spinal infection.
Sciatica is often treated with conventional treatments or steroid injections, both of which are ineffective. The first one provides temporal results while the latter causes many adverse side effects. Luckily, there are many natural therapies available, such as the following:
Massage provides relief from pain and it helps the body recover, especially if the cause of the issue is a muscle spasm. Practicing a massage stimulates circulation, raises the range of motion, and releases tension. It is recommended to use St. John`s oil for this massage, as it works as anti-inflammatory agent. Repeat the procedure two or three times a daily until you notice any improvements. Another option is to use a mixture of sesame oil and nutmeg powder. Heat it and allow it to cool enough, so that you can use it for the massage. Practice this treatment for a few times a day over the course of a couple of weks.
- Hot or Cold Compress
Hot compress relaxes tense muscle while cold compress numbs the pain and lowers the swelling. Feel free to combine them, beginning with the hot compress and ending with the cold one. Use a moist, steamed towel for the hot compress and put a cold or hot one onto the affected area, letting it work for about 20 minutes. Repeat the procedure on every few hours.
Turmeric works as anti-inflammatory, making it effective as treatment for sciatica. Curcmin, its active ingredient, lowers inflammation and nerve pain. Make a mixture by boiling a cup of milk and a teaspoon of turmeric, some honey, and small cinnamon stick. Consume this mixture twice daily until you feel a relief. It is also recommended to take supplements three times daily over the course of a few weeks, except for people with gallstones and diabetes.
- Capsaicin cream contains cayenne pepper which works as natural pain reliever. Apply the cream onto the affected area four times a day over the course of a week. Donâ€™t use capsaicin cream on broken skin as it may cause burning sensation.
- Lie on the back and stretch the legs. Then, relax the upper body and bend the knee upwards. Pull the thing through the chest, keeping the hands clasped behind. Keep the legs flat on the floor and hold the position for about 20 seconds. Do 3-5 repetitions with both legs. Other things which can help are cat-cow yoga pose, spinal decompression exercises, and pigeon yoga pose.
- Exercises are very beneficial when it comes to treating sciatica. Start exercising on a regular basis in order to strengthen the back. Knee to Chest Stretch is a great exercise for this purpose, as it improves the flexibility of the lower back and reduces nerve irritation.
6.White Willow Bark
White willow bark has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties due to its olic glycosides content. Take 120 mg of white willow supplements or 240 mg of salicin on a daily basis over the course of three weeks.
This plant is extremely effective when it comes to providing relief of sciatica pain caused by a muscle spasm. Its oils reduce tension and help relax the muscles as well. You can either drink valerian tea or take valerian supplements ( 150 mg three times daily over the course of a few weeks).
Acupuncture is a great way to relieve sciatica pain and relax the muscles. According to a study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture with heated needles is very effective in reducing sciatica pain. This study included 30 participants and 17 of them got a relief!
Many different methods include short thrusts and soothe the irritation of the nerve which is responsible for symptoms of sciatica. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 6 percent of the participants got relief by spinal manipulation. Consult a chiropractor for more information.
Using a poultice from fenugreek seeds has an anti-inflammatory effect and relieves sciatica pain, eases rheumatoid arthritis, and treats gout pain. Grind some fenugreek seeds and combine them with milk. Boil the mixture to create a paste, which should be applied onto the affected area. Let it work for a few hours before rinsing it off.
Exercise on a regular basis, but do not engage in intense exercises
To relieve the pressure on the lower back good posture is beneficial
Practice techniques for proper lifting where your knees are bent and your back is straight
Take supplements of vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium
Don’t make sudden movements
Get a proper mattress ( not too soft nor too firm )